Written by: IELTS I-Ready, 9/12/2023
Marked by: Ex-BC Examiner
(IELTS Academic – 7/12/2023)
Question: Some people say that it’s important for governments to pay for large pieces of art. For example, sculptures to be put on public display in outdoor places. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
Many argue that it is imperative for the authorities to fund monumental artworks such as sculptures to be exhibited in outdoor public settings. I mostly agree with this notion as this can boost tourism and beautify a region; however, this can polarise the community.
One valid argument for my agreement is that investing in public art can stimulate economic growth, particularly the tourist industry. When pieces of art are strategically placed in public areas, they can serve as tourist attractions which can captivate the attention of visitors from around the world. For example, New York City welcomes a high influx of travellers annually to witness the Statue of Liberty in person, contributing significantly to the governmental revenue and creating many employment opportunities in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
Another legitimate point to consider is that the exhibition in public regions of government-financed artworks can make an area more aesthetically pleasing. This can help revitalise mundane public places into more vibrant and lively destinations which can enhance the overall well-being of the citizenry, both physically and mentally. For instance, many squares with large installations of statues can serve as an open-air exercise place for local residents, providing them with a tranquil spot to seek respite from the hectic society.
Nevertheless, I concede that this may be contentious amongst the masses. This is because art preferences may vary widely amongst individuals, making it difficult to justify an acceptable item to be showcased. Consequently, this raises questions about the fairness of selection and the authorities may be subjected to public criticism because a chosen artwork may not resonate with all viewers. To illustrate, a giant war memorial monument in Vietnam has been under public scrutiny due to poor aesthetic quality by a large cohort, sparking unwanted public controversies in the media.
In conclusion, although I admit that allocating national resources tomaking large-scale public art projects can cause contention amongst the general public, I largely contend that this can draw tourists’ attention and enliven a region. Where possible, the local authorities should gather public opinion before funding an artwork to lessen discord. (348 words)
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